South India makes up just under 20 percent of the entire area of this subcontinent and has the highest social and economic development rates in the entire country. It is also called Dravida and includes the well-known states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. It is flanked by the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, while the Indian Ocean lies to the south of this area. South India is home to the Nilgiri Mountains, which form a crescent along the border between Tamil Nadu and northern Kerala and Karnataka. On the south-eastern coast, Sri Lanka is separated from this area only by Rama’s Bridge (a number of small islands) and Palk Strait. Kanyakumari is the most southerly point of India.
Scientists have found evidence of Neolithic cultures in this area, dating back some ten thousand years to 8000 BCE (Before our Common Era). This evidence includes implements like ground stone axes. Because of its situation between the Far East and the Mediterranean, South India acted as a link, benefitting from influences, information and technology from both of these otherwise isolated areas.South India is very tropical in its climatic nature. During the period between June and October, the south-west monsoon
South India is rich in beautiful, natural fauna and flora. The variety stems from the abundant diversity in terms of climates and natural resources in the area. Forests are found throughout the region, including along the coast, while the Deccan Plateau is peppered by Deccan thorn scrubs. Interestingly, South India is particularly abundant in wildlife reserves and other protected areas. These include:
• Periyar National Park
• Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
• Mudumalai National Park
• Eravikulam National Park
• Neelapattu Sanctuary
• Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
• Pulicat Sanctuary
• Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
• Bandipur National Park
• Nagarhole National Park
• Silent Valley National Park
• Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
• Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary
• National Park of the Western Ghats
• Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary
• Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
• Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
There are over 230 million people living in South India, of which approximately 83% are Hindu, 11% are Islam and 5% are Christian.
Products such as coffee, tea, vanilla, rubber, pepper, cardamom, coconut, sugarcane, pulses, chilli, sorghum and paddy are amongst the most prolific and successful plants grown in the area for economic and personal gain. India’s main rice producer, Andhra Pradesh, is also situated in South India. While the monsoon seasons can yield large amounts of rain, there are also particularly dry seasons, making this area prone to droughts and water shortages. These endanger the livelihood of the farmers, causing great distress amongst locals.